London-Brussels, Brussels-Montreux, Chocolate Train, Montreux-Interlaken, Interlaken-Lucerne or Zurich, Zurich-Munich, Munich-Salzburg (RT), Munich-Fussen (RT), Munich-Amboise, Amboise-Mont St Michel, Mont St Michel-Paris

Looking for some advise on the best way to travel from June 1-17. We are planning to get the 15 day continuous Global Eurail Pass, but not sure if we are planning the best route or if that's the right pass, or even if we've planned to do too much! Here's what we were thinking so far:Fly into London, Eurostar to Brussels (not touring London)Brussels to Montreaux, SwitzerlandChocolate Train, Gruyere, BrocInterlaken & JungfraujochInterlaken to Lucerne or ZurichZurich to Munich, GermanyMunich to Salzberg (Day Trip)Munich to Fussen (Day Trip)Munich to Amboise, FranceAmboise to Mont St. MichelMont St. Michel to ParisParis fly back home (Canada)I'm struggling most with the longer distance rides and if there's a better route to go. The only things that are set in stone is that we land in London and fly home from Paris. Secondary, we're debating if individual country passes are the better option for cost savings or ease to get around. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) February 12, 2019 20:55
    Hi Sabrina,

    Yes, the Eurail Global Pass is what you want for an itinerary like this. For the Eurail Global Pass, click here: https://www.raileurope.ca/pass/eurail-global-pass-5880

    As always, 1st class is recommended for this much travel.

    Many of your trains will require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by searching a route on the homepage of our Canadian website (www.raileurope.ca), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’).

    Now I'll go over what to expect for each of your trips. Your itinerary is an extensive one, so just focus on each trip, one at a time.

    London to Brussels

    From London to Brussels, you would take the high-speed Eurostar. The Eurostar does require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass.

    The Eurostar can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that the reservations be purchased as soon as possible. The Eurostar is unique from other trains in that it can be reserved 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure.

    Brussels to Montreux

    The most feasible connections from Brussels to Montreux take 7-8 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Lyon and then once in Geneva.

    Of the trains making up this connection, only trains from Brussels to Lyon would require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass. The trains from Brussels to Lyon are high-speed Brussels-France TGV trains.

    Trains from Lyon to Geneva and Geneva to Montreux do not even accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    When viewing schedules for this route on our website, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Brussels to Lyon, another search for connecting trains from Lyon to Geneva, and then another search for connecting trains from Geneva to Montreux.

    To purchase the reservations for a train from Brussels to Lyon, you would just have to remember to check the 'I have a rail pass' button when entering your search for this segment. To view schedules for the unreserved segments from Lyon to Geneva and Geneva to Montreux, you would have to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    The Brussels-France TGV trains from Brussels to Lyon can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date. Since your intended travel falls outside of this time frame, you would just have to use an earlier date (a date within the next 90 days from now) just to get an idea of the schedules and reservation costs in the meantime.

    Montreux & the Chocolate Train

    The Chocolate Train excursion is a roundtrip between Montreux and Broc, starting in Montreux. On the way from Montreux to Broc, the train will make a stop in Gruyères. When you get off the train in Gruyères, you'll be taken by bus to the actual village there. The trip includes free admission to the cheese factory there in the village. After a couple hours in Gruyères, the bus would take you to Broc, where you'd visit the Cailler-Nestlé Chocolate Factory. After a couple of hours at the factory in Broc, you would then take the train back down Montreux.

    Reservations are required to cover this full excursion. However, this excursion is currently not able to be reserved through our website. The Chocolate Train excursion can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date. If it is still not able to be reserved on our site when the time comes to book, then you would have to call us to purchase these particular reservations. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM CT Monday to Friday.

    When this excursion is able to be booked on our website, you would purchase the reservations just by doing one search from 'Montreux' to 'Broc' and indicating that you'll be traveling with the 'Eurail Global Pass'. Even though we issue you the reservation as a 'one-way', it will be valid to cover the entire roundtrip excursion, including the bus from the train station in Gruyères to the village and the bus from Gruyères to Broc, as well as admission to the cheese factory in Gruyères and the chocolate factory in Broc.

    Montreux to Interlaken

    The shortest connections from Montreux to Interlaken take just over 2 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Visp and then once in Spiez. On these trains, reservations are not necessary, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    If you don't mind adding about 50 minutes to your journey time, you can make the trip from Montreux to Interlaken by way of the famed GoldenPass scenic route. These connections from Montreux to Interlaken take about 3 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Zweisimmen along the way. The trains from Montreux to Interlaken and Interlaken to Zweisimmen both run along the GoldenPass route.

    On the segment from Montreux to Zweisimmen, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to any rail pass. Generally, these passholder reservations can be purchased on our website; however, that is currently not the case. The trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure. Just like the Chocolate Train, if it is still not able to be reserved on our site when the time comes to book, then you would have to call us to purchase these reservations. When it does work on our site, you would purchase the reservations just by doing a search from Montreux to Zweisimmen and indicating that you'll be traveling with the 'Eurail Global Pass'.

    On the segment from Zweisimmen to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary at all. Therefore, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. You can still use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken.

    Interlaken-Lucerne-Zurich

    Trains from Interlaken to Lucerne actually represent the final segment of the GoldenPass scenic route. You can go through Lucerne on your way to Zurich and stop there if you wish.

    On the trains from Interlaken to Lucerne, reservations are possible but not necessary. Therefore, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    Trains from Lucerne to Zurich do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is again all you would need to board.

    For this route, you just have to break up your search in Lucerne when checking schedules on our website (www.raileurope.ca). Therefore, you would do one search from Interlaken to Lucerne and another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Zurich. When checking schedules for unreserved trains on our site, just be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    Zurich to Munich

    The usual way to get from Zurich to Munich is actually by bus. The bus is covered by the Eurail Global Pass. It just requires reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. These reservations are not able to be purchased on our website. Instead, you would purchase these reservations by calling us. It can be reserved once within 90 days of a departure. The bus ride takes 4 hours.

    The bus itself is very scenic; however, the rail lines in that area are some of the most scenic in the world. If you route yourself through Innsbruck, you would travel over the renowned Arlberg Railway along the way. This stretch of railway begins as your train from Zurich passes through Bludenz (just across the Swiss/Austrian border) and culminates at Innsbruck. The trains from Zurich to Innsbruck are high-speed Railjet or EC (EuroCity) trains. In Innsbruck, you would switch to an EC train or a regional train to Munich. The EC trains from Innsbruck to Munich only take about 1hr45min-1hr50min. The regional trains follow a different path, taking you over the scenic ‘Mittenwald Railway’ through Garmisch-Partenkirchen; however, they take almost 3 hours.

    On the Railjet and EC trains from Zurich to Innsbruck, reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. On the EC trains from Innsbruck to Munich, reservations are also recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. These reservations are able to be booked on our website once within 90 days of an intended departure date. To purchase the reservations for this route, you would do one search from Zurich to Innsbruck and then another search for connecting trains from Innsbruck to Munich. When purchasing the reservations, just remember to check the ‘I have a rail pass’ button and indicate that you’ll be traveling with the ‘Eurail Global Pass’.

    The regional trains from Innsbruck to Munich do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. Schedules for the regional trains from Innsbruck to Munich are not able to be viewed on our website. If you want to take one of these trains, you can inquire about their schedules when you call us.

    Munich to Salzburg

    From Munich to Salzburg (and return), you would take a direct Railjet or EC train over the scenic Rosenheim-Salzburg Railway. On these trains, reservations are recommended as a supplement to the rail pass. You can purchase reservations from Munich to Salzburg by searching the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.ca), checking the ‘I have a rail pass’ button, and indicating that you’ll be traveling with the ‘Eurail Global Pass’. These trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Munich to Füssen

    From Munich to Füssen (and return), you would take a direct regional train. These trains do not accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature on our homepage (www.raileurope.ca) just to view schedules for trains from Munich to Füssen; you would just have to be sure to leave the ‘I have a rail pass’ button unchecked when doing so.

    If you plan to visit Neuschwanstein Castle while you’re there, you would just take a bus from Füssen to the village of Hohenschwangau. From Hohenschwangau, you would then have a few different choices to get up to Neuschwanstein; you can take another bus, you can walk, or else you can take a horse-drawn carriage. Please be advised that the bus would take you to a point from where you would still have to walk another 10 minutes or so up a steep hill. The horse-drawn carriage would take you to a point from where you would have an easier 5 minute walk to the castle entrance. If you were to walk all the way from Hohenschwangau to the castle entrance it would take approximately 30 minutes. The rail pass does not cover the buses between Füssen, Hohenschwangau, and Neuschwanstein. Tickets for these buses would have to be purchased locally when you're there.

    Munich to Amboise

    The most feasible connection from Munich to Amboise takes just under 8 hours in duration and involves 3 train changes along the way; once in Stuttgart, once in Strasbourg, and then once in St Pierre des Corps.

    Trains from Munich to Stuttgart are high-speed ICE (InterCity Express) trains on which reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass.

    Trains from Stuttgart to Strasbourg are France-Germany High-Speed trains, which require reservations.

    The direct train from Strasbourg to St Pierre des Corps is a TGV high-speed train, which requires reservations.

    From St Pierre des Corps to Amboise, you would take a regional TER train. These don’t accept reservations, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For this route, you would access the schedules on our website by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Munich to Stuttgart, another search for connecting trains from Stuttgart to Strasbourg, another search from Strasbourg to St Pierre des Corps, and then another search for connecting trains from St Pierre des Corps to Amboise. For the reserved segments, just remember to check the ‘I have a rail pass’ button and indicate that you’ll be traveling with a ‘Eurail Global Pass’, so that you can purchase the reservations. These trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date. To access schedules for the regional trains from St Pierre des Corps to Amboise, just leave the ‘I have a rail pass’ button unchecked.

    Amboise to Mont St Michel (Rennes)

    Mont St Michel is not directly accessed by rail. The closest station is Rennes from where you would take a bus to get to Mont St Michel. The most feasible connections from Amboise to Rennes take about 3.5 to 4 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Tours and then once in Le Mans.

    Trains from Amboise to Tours and Tours to Le Mans are regional TER trains, which do not accept reservations. Therefore, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    The trains from Le Mans to Rennes are high-speed TGV trains, which require reservations.

    To access schedules for this route, you would once again piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Amboise to Tours, another search for connecting trains from Tours to Le Mans, and then another search for connecting trains from Le Mans to Rennes.

    For the unreserved segments from Amboise to Tours and Tours to Le Mans, you would leave the ‘I have a rail pass’ button unchecked. To purchase reservations for the segment from Le Mans to Rennes, you would have to check the ‘I have a rail pass’ button and indicate that you’ll be traveling with a ‘Eurail Global Pass’. The trains from Le Mans to Rennes can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.

    Rail passes are not valid on the buses between Rennes and Mont St Michel; however, tickets for the bus can be purchased using the route search feature on our homepage (www.raileurope.ca).

    Mont St Michel (Rennes) to Paris

    To get to Paris, you would take the bus from Mont St Michel back to Rennes, and then switch to a direct TGV train that will take you right into Paris.

    Once again, you can refer to the route search feature on our homepage (www.raileurope.ca) to purchase tickets for the bus from Mont St Michel to Rennes.

    On the TGV from Rennes to Paris, reservations are required as a supplement to a rail pass. To purchase the reservations from Rennes to Paris, just be sure to check the ‘I have a rail pass’ button and indicate that you’ll be traveling with the ‘Eurail Global Pass’.
    • view 2 more comments
    • Jeff (Official Rep) February 12, 2019 21:24
      If you'll be staying in Paris for multiple days and plan on using the Métro and RER to get around the city, you may also want to consider purchasing either the 'Paris Pass' or the 'Paris Visite'.

      The 'Paris Pass' covers entry to over 60 top attractions, as well as public transportation on the Métro, RER, and buses in central Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Pass' here: https://www.raileurope.ca/activities/...=

      The 'Paris Visite' just covers local transportation in Paris, which includes the Métro and RER networks, as well as city buses. You would purchase the 'Paris Visite' here: https://www.raileurope.ca/pass/paris-...

      There is also the 'Paris Museum Pass', which does not cover any transportation, but it does cover entry to over 60 museums and historic sites around Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Museum Pass' here: https://www.raileurope.ca/activities/...

      Various other city passes and tours for Paris can be found here: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...
    • Jeff (Official Rep) February 12, 2019 21:29
      For other cities you'll be visiting, you can shop various city passes, activities, and tours offered by clicking on the links below:

      Brussels: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...

      Montreux: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...

      Interlaken: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...

      Lucerne: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...

      Zurich: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...

      Munich: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...

      Salzburg: https://www.raileurope.ca/train-ticke...
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